Firm says Jobs in the clear from Apple's options scandal

in General Discussion edited January 2014
An analyst for PiperJaffray on Wednesday said he believes the stock options backdating issues at Apple Computer are in the rearview mirror and Steve Jobs will remain the company's chief executive officer.

"Although these issues tarnish Apple's squeaky clean image, they do not impact the company's underlying fundamentals," analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients. "As a result, we expect investors to shift their focus to CPU market share gains and strong iPod sales through the upcoming holiday season."

In his summary of the backdating fallout, the analyst noted that 150 companies are in the midst of either internal or external option related investigations. Thus far, 9 CEOs have resigned and at least 27 executives or directors have left companies due to investigations, he said.

According to Munster, the reasons for the various CEOs departures vary from: "CEO taking role as a fall guy" to situations involving CEOs purposefully covering up options backdating.

In the case of Apple, he wrote, "We believe Jobs is in the clear, given Jobs was aware of these grant dates but was not aware of the accounting treatment and did not benefit from them."

"Apple concluded its internal options investigation and found no misconduct by any current members of the management team," he added. "As a result of the investigation findings, former Apple CFO Fred Anderson has resigned from the board of directors and Apple will likely restate its financials."

Apple is expected to offer some final remarks on the accounting issues that led to its options investigation during a conference call proceeding the release of fiscal fourth quarter results this afternoon.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    thank god, I have been sitting on whether to sell my stock or not, I think I'm going to stick it out till January atleast.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    I would definitely sell all of my AAPL stock if Jobs were implicated. Replaceable or not, his departure would crush their stock price.
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